Honolulu is an intriguing blend of contrasts: the past and present; tranquility and raucousness; the Aloha spirit and world class luxury. Vacationing in Honolulu may mean relaxing and soaking up sunshine on the beaches, but visitors to Honolulu with special needs also have the opportunity of experiencing the many other sites the city has to offer.
There are 139 beaches on the island of Oahu and the city of Honolulu has some of the best accessible beaches. Ala Moana Beach, Sans Souci Beach Park and Kailua Beach Park all have beach wheelchairs available for rental on a first come, first serve basis. Ala Moana Beach also has special beach mats laid out on the sand so individuals in their own personal wheelchairs may go right up to the water. Although not technically ‘accessible,’ if you go towards the volleyball nets on Waikiki Beach, the sand is hard enough that a wheelchair could wheel right onto the beach. Hanauma Bay Nature Reserve is a nature preserve dedicated to safeguarding the fragile marine life on the Bay. Hanauma also has a beach wheelchair available for rental. The tram that transports guests to and from the beach has a wheelchair ramp and the theatre with a short video about Hanauma has closed captioning. For beaches in Honolulu that are not accessible or do not have beach wheelchairs, visitors may rent beach wheelchairs through Special Needs Group.
USS Arizona Memorial
On the morning of December 7, 1941, the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii came under a surprise air attack. In memory of those who died aboard the sinking USS Arizona, a memorial was opened in 1962. The USS Arizona Memorial is now Hawaii’s most visited attraction with more than 1.5 million visitors a year. The Visitor Center is free to the public and has a museum with exhibits about the Pearl Harbor attack. A Navy boat then ferries visitors to the USS Arizona Memorial itself; each visitor must get a numbered ticket, from the Visitor Center and a designated departure time. Before boarding the boat for the Memorial, visitors may watch a 20-minute film about the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Navy boats, memorial, movie theater, exhibit area, information desk and bathrooms are wheelchair accessible.
Shopping: International Market Place and Aloha Tower Marketplace
For souvenirs, gifts and other assorted Hawaiian mementos, visitors should go to International Market Place or Aloha Tower Marketplace. Both locations have numerous shops featuring jewelry, flower printed clothes, dancing hula dolls, artwork, bags and other items. Walking along the dozens of stalls, visitors can find some interesting things at reasonable prices. There are also several restaurants at the Aloha Tower Marketplace, while the International Marketplace has a food court on the premises. Both Marketplaces are wheelchair accessible.
Honolulu Interesting Fact: ‘Iolani Palace in Honolulu is the only royal palace in the United States. Additionally, it had electricity and telephones four years before the White House did.
Special Needs Group has wheelchair rentals, scooter rentals, and other special needs equipment rentals in Honolulu, Hawaii. To place your order, contact 954 585-0575.